Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5x Macro

ncsa

EOS M50
Sep 4, 2012
41
4
Thanks ... it is taken a while to learn how to be patient and simply watch where they move about and quietly get to them... The challenge is not to bump surrounding plants and not cast a shadow over them.

This was the setup for these shots except the dragon wings which was daylight only - was lucky with that as a very patient dragon who hung there for some time, plus Dragons will return back to the same spot if they are not too startled and ignore you after a while...


Macro light setup by ncsabkk, on Flickr

I have changed this a bit to save some weight so now use Godox V850 strobe with wireless control and removed some metal support.. in the field I am always hand-holding with maybe the support of a monopod with a mini-ball head to help take more of the weight but nothing fixed as you need to be flexible and quick for their movements.


Macro setup by ncsabkk, on Flickr

Some honey water ... and not breathing during shutter release .. helps too :)

Eldar said:
ncsa said:
A few from my favourite macro lens ...
Fantastic images. I have problems getting to 1:1 with the 100mm. How do you get this close, without scaring off the insects?
 
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xps

EOS R
Oct 19, 2011
1,007
113
Middle Europe
These Pics reminds me to use this lens again. When I bought it, around 2001 or so, I was a little bit frustrated. I thought it could be used like an normal macro lens (like my 100mm2.8 or ma 180mm 3.5). But it was a little bit more difficult... So I had to buy a lot more equipment. A micro-adjustment glider (Einstellschlitten), a adjustable flash-holder for 2 flashes, and an 2 headed flash-system (all from Novoflex uniset, auto-duo-flash,...) ... A lot of money, but I was not satisfied, because the flash was not bright enough to bring enough light into the picture at a 3-5x magnification. Especially, when the insects were not resting long enough, or the wind was moving the objects... So it was hard work to get sharp pictures on the film (Eos 1V and Eos 3).
Using the 7D and 60D was more satisfying, but there was much vignetting. But now, the 6D will be a game-changer in this topic. Thanks for reminding to use it again. I just opened the dusty box with the since 2011 resting MPE65 and all of the macro-equipment inside.

One question please: I think the Novoflex uniset will be able to carry an light flash. If not, which external flashholder to buy? and which "flash softbox?
I think an omnibouncer on the flash will bring to hard light on the objects.
 

ncsa

EOS M50
Sep 4, 2012
41
4
xps said:
These Pics reminds me to use this lens again. <snip>
One question please: I think the Novoflex uniset will be able to carry an light flash. If not, which external flashholder to buy? and which "flash softbox?
I think an omnibouncer on the flash will bring to hard light on the objects.

Yes you should get back into it :) the lens is great but takes time to master.

For static setups I would simply use larger strobes in some soft boxes to get the light required at up to 5x

This is near 5x

Green by ncsabkk, on Flickr

from this at about 1x

Yellow by ncsabkk, on Flickr

using these lights Godox AD360


setup by ncsabkk, on Flickr

For portability I like the blue flexible holder as is light, strong and is cheap (if in US) as you can order from Loc Line direct and make it yourself .. use the 3/4"
 
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Chaitanya

EOS R
Jun 27, 2013
1,466
650
35
Pune
Interesting post, even I have bought this lens. But for last 3 months I am stuck with work and haven't still used this lens since. Its still in the original box so is the 270ex II which I bought for lighting. :(
 

danski0224

EOS R
Apr 24, 2011
1,104
12
ncsa said:
This was the setup for these shots except the dragon wings which was daylight only - was lucky with that as a very patient dragon who hung there for some time, plus Dragons will return back to the same spot if they are not too startled and ignore you after a while...

I have changed this a bit to save some weight so now use Godox V850 strobe with wireless control and removed some metal support.. in the field I am always hand-holding with maybe the support of a monopod with a mini-ball head to help take more of the weight but nothing fixed as you need to be flexible and quick for their movements.

Could you expand on some of the specifics about the gear attached to the camera/lens and that is holding and attached to the flash?

Looks like the same bracket is used to attach to the bottom of the lens or camera (with the aluminum finish button/lever) in both photos.
 

koenkooi

EOS 5D Mark IV
CR Pro
Feb 25, 2015
1,860
1,787
This year I've been trying to film things in my garden using the MP-E and the results are slowly improving. I've 3d-printed small adapters to mount ¼-20 based things on the flash holder ring of my MT24-EX:
IMG_9041.jpeg


As expected, most shots are ruined by shake and wobble, but the IBIS in the R5 improves the results enormously. It feels like I'm having to relearn how to use this lens all over again :)

 
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stevelee

FT-QL
CR Pro
Jul 6, 2017
2,151
854
Davidson, NC
I agree! Nice shot and lighting.

I have only borrowed this lens for one weekend, and I found it quite hard to use. Besides... using my 100L macro is fairly easy, and I can lean on a wall for support. Going into the MP-E 65 requires a substantial investment in additional gear with quality macro rails and flashes, but most of all you need to have time :)
I considered renting this lens during one of Lens Rentals' sale periods. I read reviews and commentary on the lens, and they scared me off. I feared that I wouldn't make enough progress in learning to use the lens over ten days to bother. I also wondered about subject matter. My 100mm with and without extension tubes will suffice for almost anything I'm likely to take anyway. I do have a cheap rail, which is sturdy enough for anything I have done. I also have a ring "flash" which is really not that usable as a flash, but works fine as a continuous light which I switch on just before the shot. If I got into macro shooting in a big way, I'd probably invest in higher quality accessories.

There is the possibility that if I had the lens for a while, I'd start shooting things that I don't think about now. Back in my T3i days I splurged and bought a $15 set of extension tubes, of course with no electrical contacts. I attached my crummy 75–300mm zoom and took some shots of small things, of course with everything wide open. Results were surprisingly good. I had a potted chrysanthemum with small blooms. I took a shot of part of one of the blooms and liked it so well that I had it printed at 16" x 20", and it is in my living room. From that I decided I did want to do more with macro, so I bought the non-L 100mm. And then last year when I was using photo projects to substitute for going places and doing things, I ordered some off-brand extension tubes that do have electrical contacts. The tubes came in on my last day with the rented 24mm TS-E lens, so I tried them with it, using the tilt for getting more in focus. That worked great, so I have thought about getting or renting a TS-E macro, but can't make much of a case to myself for a particular focal length. If I were making money off product photography (or wanting to do so), I'd likely have several.